Monday, January 28, 2008

There's a really bad Doors pun that I'm not touching

Ok, so we all kind of dropped the ball on Fire on Fire. They got a smattering of praise from their first EP which came out a few months ago on Young Gods. Smattering don’t pay the bills though, so let’s see if we can go one better and see what to make of these people.

The fills on their self-titled Handmade EP (not sold in stores and only $7) are really remarkable. Mostly because the lyrics aren’t anything terrible special, if you press me on subject matter, I can’t tell you what any of these songs are about.

But the music is so good that the literal meanings seem to be beside the point. Note-wise everything is sparse, but they play the hell out of their instruments with what little has been mapped out.

Because all the players are clearly recorded in one room the interplay is a lot tighter. What they obtain is that sort of psychic vibe that bands give off when they know each other too well for their own good. You’re sort of left guessing on which direction each song is going. Crescendos rise and lead nowhere while choruses start at weird moments. And when you think a song is near the end… it goes on for 3 more minutes.

Vocals are shared within the group and treated like percussive instruments. Very blunt and very loud when the occasion calls for it. During group choruses they reach a register I’ve probably never heard before; most likely you’ve never heard anything like it either. Vibrating, nasal, and smooth; almost like Hawaii interludes. Where a bunch of Mainers found Polynesian records though is a subject for another day. Harmonically I feel like this something unique and a little mind blowing at times. Granted we live in the era of the group shout. But not like the wailing of a free jazz trumpet.

A lot of the younger freak folk artists are schooled in hardcore punk and usually aim statement and reiteration approach with a kind of pre-Dust Bowl voice. Fire on Fire, however, adopt a narrative and see it through. The group chemistry is so tight that stretching out tunes to 7 minutes or 8 minutes only tightens the melodies to a finer point.
It’s all about starting out on one key and pounding different stlyes together like railroad spikes until some notion of harmony is achieved.

They’ve got their debut LP slated for this year people. If we let this slide again we’ll all have go up to Portland and become missionaries for these guys


Post a Comment

<< Home